The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators recently apologized for condemning anti-Semitism, buckling to bullying from anti-Israel activists. Tell them to stand up against Jew-hatred!
Following a spike in anti-Semitic violence around the world, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCWBI) issued a statement written by its former diversity officer April Powers condemning anti-Semitism.
The statement acknowledged that Jews “have the right to life, safety, and freedom from scapegoating and fear.”
The statement added, “Silence is often mistaken for acceptance and results in the perpetration of more hatred and violence against different types of people.”
Palestinians and Muslims denounced SCBWI because the statement failed to also acknowledge “Islamophobia.” One of the organization’s members, Razan Abdin-Adnanin, claimed her comments posted on Facebook and Twitter were “erased” and “deleted” by Powers, who she also accused of blocking her on social media.
On Sunday, SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver issued an apology to Muslim and Palestinian members.
“SCBWI acknowledges the pain our actions have caused to our Muslim and Palestinian members and hope that we can heal from this moment,” Oliver said.
Oliver announced that certain seats on the SCBWI’s Equity and Inclusion committee would be set aside for Muslims. The message also included an apology from Powers, who resigned her post.
According to the the Post-Millenial Abdin-Adnani replied on Twitter to the original June 10 statement “with anti-Israel propaganda, justifying violence against Jews worldwide by hurling baseless accusations against the Jewish state. She also demanded that the organization issue a statement about Islamophobia in her tweets replying to SCBWI’s statement on anti-Semitism, essentially ‘all lives mattering’ the issue.”
The Post-Millenial added that Abdin-Adnani “harassed the account so often that the statement condemning anti-Semitism had to be deleted and reposted 4 times before the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer April Powers blocked Abdin-Adnani.”
On Tuesday, Powers posted a statement to Facebook, writing, “Thank you all so much for your support in this terrifying moment for me and my family. For clarity, the SCBWI did not fire me or ask me to resign. There are good, kind people who work and volunteer there, many of whom are from marginalized, minority, or underrepresented backgrounds (including Jewish) themselves, who have also been harassed and trolled relentlessly.”
“While there is certainly more to this story, particularly horrific unmasked anti-semitism outside of the SCBWI, I cannot comment further at this time other than to say I chose to resign because of the distraction this was causing. Your words and actions in support mean the world to me. Thank you,” she added.
SCBWI must UNEQUIVOCALLY condemn anti-Semitism and make amends for Powers’ unfair treatment.
Tell SCBWI to condemn anti-Semitism and stop catering to anti-Israel activists!
1. Send SCBWI a message via email.
2. Send SCBWI a message on Facebook.
3. Send SCBWI a message on Twitter.